Swell Water Bottle Review: What Sets It Apart from Competitors

swell water bottle

S’well Bottle is a company that has been making waves since 2010 when it began manufacturing water bottles. If you have seen these bottles around, you likely know them by the stainless steel bottle or the quality vacuum insulation that keeps drinks super chilly or nice and warm. These bottles come in numerous looks and three sizes, offering an option for anyone looking for a stylish, reusable water bottle. Today we’ll delve deeper into the brand and review these innovative bottles.

Brand Basics

The S’well water bottles are consistently design focused, and the product line is relatively small but robust. There are bottles, bottles and more bottles although different sizes are indicated by names like “travelers” and “roamers.” Beyond that, it offers accessories for the bottles and a store for students. Students get 20 percent off which is a nice perk for anyone in college with a .edu email to take advantage of. There are also discounts for corporate orders which we’ll talk about later.

S’well is a woman-owned company – the largest one in the country. The brand is known for partnering with charities like UNICEF to create change and help those who need it. One of the most significant selling factors of the brand is the fact that the bottles reduce the amount of plastic that makes it to landfills and waterways. It’s an eco-friendly brand that offers beautiful, sustainable bottles for all sorts of people, no matter what personal taste is involved. The company got its start online and has built momentum since primarily based on word of mouth from satisfied customers.

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, 17 oz, Blue...
  • Our bottles feature triple-walled construction, designed to keep beverages cold for 24 hours or hot for 12
  • Our bottles are made from premium grade, BPA-free 18/8 stainless steel.
  • Condensation-free, the exterior will remain dry.

Selection of S’well Bottles

The first time you visit the S’well Bottles website you may find yourself overwhelmed with options. There are hundreds of designs to choose from at any one time. Right now there are 106 original bottles on offer, with 16 travelers, 15 tumblers and six roamers.

You can sort by collection which can be helpful if you get overwhelmed by that many options. There is a collection of monochrome bottles as well as one for rustic bottles and another for metallic bottles. Many of the bottles can also be personalized with a personal monogram for an extra $10. You can choose three initials, a name of up to 10 characters or a single character. The only font available right now is the S’well Sans Mono. Oh, and in case you weren’t sold on the extensive number of options, you can also get caps in nearly a dozen colors.

While there are tons of options, the S’well bottle is largely the same overall. The bottles are composed of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel. They include a leak-proof lid that twists on and off and triple-wall insulation which is advertised to keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. Most insulated bottles only offer double-wall construction so another layer is a perk. Many reviewers have even stated that the bottles can keep beverages cold longer than the 24 hours promised.

Due to the food-grade stainless steel the bottle won’t lead to any unwanted flavors in your drink. It also makes the bottle a snap to clean. This is especially true if you pick up any of the S’well accessories like the bottle brush and extra brush heads. It is worth noting that the lid has BPA-free plastic, but this can touch the liquid in the bottle if it’s flipped upside down. This may not matter for most but it could for some, and we want to be honest about the brand’s products.

Durable & Long-Lasting

One of the most significant benefits of choosing a stainless steel water bottle is that it is going to be extremely durable compared to bottles made of other materials. Stainless steel is strong stuff, and we can’t imagine what would lead to breakage. It’s likely that a bottle like S’well water bottles is going to last you years no matter what sort of abuse you put it through.

The same may not be true for the artwork on the outside of the bottle, though. Many people choose these bottles as a functional water bottle but also as a fashion accessory. If that’s the case for you, you’ll want to handle the bottle with kid gloves to avoid causing damage to the outside artwork. However, even if something happens to the outside layer the bottle itself will keep on trucking.

Cleaning & Maintenance

While cleaning a S’well water bottle is simple, there is one thing that can be a little annoying. These bottles tend to have a narrow mouth which means it can be tough to get in large chunks of ice. Beyond that, cleaning the bottle can take a little getting used to. A bottle-cleaning brush will ensure you get into all the crevices and clean it up properly. This certainly isn’t a factor that detracts from all the great things about the bottle, but it’s important to be aware of.

That said, these bottles are constructed similarly to plastic bottles without the straws and spouts, so the need for cleaning is minimal and simple overall. Don’t think you can just toss it in the dishwasher, though. These need to be hand washed to keep their performance and aesthetic intact.

Storage

You should not leave a S’well bottle in the freezer, and avoid leaving it in the refrigerator as well. That does mean you need to have cold beverages or ice on hand to get a freezing drink. If you can’t do with tap water that isn’t 100-percent ice cold, this might be an issue. Of course, you can always have a stash of water or whatever beverage you like in the refrigerator ready to transfer to your S’well each morning if you want the benefit of icy-cold refreshment.

Extraordinary Insulation

For some water bottle users the most important thing is the insulation. If you like your drinks to have an icy bite, you want loads of insulation. The same holds true if you just want to keep your macchiato hot for hours into the workday. We already mentioned that the S’well bottles offer triple-wall insulation, but we thought we’d look at that in a bit more depth.

Bottles that are vacuum insulated are essentially a bottle with another bottle on top. The bottle inside is where you will add your water or other beverage. This is separated from the outside by evacuated air (or a vacuum) and a wall of stainless steel. The heat that is trying to escape or enter the bottle must work through the vacuum to do so, which means your drink stays at the temperature you want it for much longer than in a traditional bottle.

Another thing that works well because of this design is the lack of sweating from condensation. That means the bottle doesn’t get too cold or hot to carry or pick up no matter what temperature the contents are at. S’well has added a third layer to the vacuum made of copper which adds an additional layer for heat to get through to escape or enter. Some bottles do only use double-wall, though, so be sure to double check when choosing the right one for you.

Everyday Water Bottle Use

The basic S’well bottles come in three sizes: 9 ounces, 17 ounces and 25 ounces. These were the only choices for a long time, but the other bottle options have extended that. The travelers come in 12, 16 and 20 ounces, while the roamers hold 40 or even 64 ounces of liquid. The last option – tumblers – comes in 10-, 18- and 25-ounce sizes. The original bottles are super portable, but for those who need a bit more liquid to carry around, the roamers excel.

Due to the double- and triple-wall insulation in these bottles, you don’t have to concern yourself about condensation getting on your hands while carrying the bottle. It’s also never going to get scalding or freezing so you can’t transport it. On top of that, the leak proofing provided by S’well is excellent. The only time you’re likely to see a spill is if you don’t seal the lid properly.

The S’well bottle is a high-quality, durable water bottle that anyone should consider. The addition of beautiful designs just adds to the allure of the product. You’ll turn heads, and you’ll enjoy your favorite beverage at the optimal temperature no matter what time of day or night. We recommend it to anyone who cares about aesthetics as well as anyone who needs an exceptional everyday water bottle to tote around.

Water Bottle Purpose

The founder of S’well bottle, Sarah Kauss, notes that the inspiration for S’well bottle was both to make a high-quality water bottle but also to provide a solution to combat the huge amounts of pollution caused by disposable plastic water bottles. But the company does more than that and works to promote clean water in areas that need it the most, especially where children and the vulnerable are in need. The company has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to UNICEF and other organizations in order to continue giving back.

Cost & Value

While you can often find a few bottles on sale at the S’well website from $20 to $30, you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $35 for a traditional water bottle from the brand. The travelers range from $30 to $35, the tumblers from $25 to $45 and the roamers start at $55 and go up to $80. It may not be the least-expensive bottle out there, but that’s not really what S’well is about. They provide a high-quality bottle for those who care about the environment, aesthetics and keeping their drink at the proper temperature. The prices might seem high to some but the levels of features and designs make them just right in our eyes.

And if you want some S’well bottles with your corporate logo on them, that’s an option, too. Depending on options, you need to order either 48 or 100 bottles minimum with a lead time of two to three weeks. If you choose to add your logo, it can be engraved or affixed depending on your taste. You can also choose corporate gifting of 48 or more bottles at a discount price after your application is approved by S’well.

Additional Accessories

We mentioned that you could pick up a bottle brush from S’well which is only about $20, or you can get a brush and stand for less than $30. The accessory section of the S’well site also offers replacement lining caps, tumbler lids, brush heads and caps. You can also pick up fun options like chalk pins and temporary tattoos. The caps are all from $5 other than the tumbler replacement which starts at $10. The other items are only a few dollars and are great for adding a couple dollars to your order for the free shipping for about $50.

The Competition

If you’re familiar with the Thermos brand and the Kleen Kanteen brand, you’ll understand what we mean when saying this is the best of both worlds. It has a sleek look with a better seal than the Kleen Kanteen. It also looks a lot better in most people’s opinions. It also has better insulation than the trusty Thermos. Really the only thing holding back the company right now is the lack of a wider mouth for those who appreciate the convenience of dropping in a few ice cubes before the day’s errands.

Review Summary

Not everyone is going to be interested in a water bottle that costs $25 or more. However, plenty of people are going to find the story of this company and the promises behind their water bottles compelling enough to take the plunge. We can’t say that we blame them. It’s a company with a mission, a purpose and a product that is unlike any others on the market. Sure, it might not be the only aesthetically pleasing water bottle available, but it’s more than that. We think you’ll feel the same way once you check out the options. 

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